Courtesy Yizhar Hirschfeld

The fountains in the Hall of Fountains were probably installed in the fifth century, during the reign of Empress Eudocia, who lived in Jerusalem then. An inscription naming Eudocia was found on a marble slab, 73 inches long and 28 inches wide, embedded in the floor of the Hall of Fountains (see close-up photograph). One of the longest inscriptions ever discovered in Israel, the remarkable 17-line poem praises the springs and baths of Hammat Gader “on this side boiling, but there in turn cold and tepid.”